Mt. Diablo - Mitchell Canyon
I spent the morning wandering up Mitchell and White canyons, encountering
lots of migrants and breeding species. I missed my primary target - Calliope
Hummingbird, but saw a male Rufous, a female Selasphorus and lots of Anna's
in White Canyon. Early in the morning migrants were singing and calling, and
therefore easily detected; by noon things had quieted down considerably, but
feeding activity was still strong and I saw most of the same species
returning as I saw on the way in by paying attention to call notes and the
occasional song or sub-song. Mixed warbler flocks were dominated by
Townsend's or Hermit warblers, with many singing birds of each species.
Orange-crowned and Wilson's warblers were constant companions. A few
Black-throated Gray, Nashville, MacGillivray's and a single Yellow warbler
rounded out this appealing group. Warbling Vireo was numerous and I
encountered at least 4 Cassin's Vireo as well as many Hutton's. Pac-slope
Flycatcher was practically abundant, though most birds were silent "Western"
types. I had at least three Hammond's Flycatchers - my fourth sighting could
have been a bird I encountered on the way in. One Olive-sided Flycatcher was
the only Contopus I encountered. A couple of male Western Tanagers were
silent but beautiful. A female Merlin cruised down White Canyon while I
chatted with Dave Quady.
This is such a wonderful place to experience spring migrants! I envy those
of you who live nearby.